Arsenal vs NewcastleEnglish Premier League, KO: 16:30 Feb 16, 2020, Emirates Stadium
MIKEL ARTETA has been hailed for transforming Arsenal's fortunes and they head into this clash with Newcastle on the back of a seven-game unbeaten run.
But while performances have definitely improved under the former Manchester City No.2, the Gunners need to get more points on the board in the Premier League.
Arteta has claimed just one league victory since replacing Unai Emery, with his other two triumphs coming in the FA Cup.
That has left his side level on points with Newcastle in mid table and it will take a stunning run of form for Arsenal to get back into the hunt for a Champions League place.
The Magpies are also on a long unbeaten run heading to Emirates, having gone eight games without defeat.
But, like the Gunners, that sequence is a bit misleading as they were taken to FA Cup replays by lower-league Rochdale and Oxford.
And those replay wins, plus a fortuitous 1-0 league triumph over Chelsea, are the only victories Steve Bruce's men have racked up in the last 12 games.
How the bookies view it
The Gunners have drawn their last four league matches, and Newcastle their last two, so plenty of punters might fancy the stalemate.
I cashed in by backing Crystal Palace to avoid defeat against Arteta's side last month, with two of my tips coming up.
But I've a feeling Arsenal will shade this and backing them to be winning at half-time and full-time could pay off at 6/5 with BetVictor.
Recent head to head
Arsenal have been a bogey team for the Mapgies, winning 13 of their last 14 meetings. Newscastle's only win in that run was a 2-1 triumph at home in 2018 and you have to go back to 2010 for their last victory at the Emirates.
These teams faced off on the opening weekend of the Premier League season and it finished 1-0 to the Gunners thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's goal at St James' Park.
In their last clash at the Emirates, goals from Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette sealed a 2-0 win for Arsenal (below).
Players to watch
Mesut Ozil (below) loves a goal against Newcastle and has netted against them three times in his Gunners career.
After being frozen out by Unai Emery, the German has become a regular again under Arteta and could be worth a punt at 5/1 for anytime scorer with Ladbrokes.
I've always been impressed by Newcastle Allan Saint-Maximin and the Frenchman's stunning solo goal sealed victory in their last game against Oxford.
He's 6/1 with Bet365 for another strike here and that could be decent value as Arsenal's defence still doesn't look convincing.
Anything else catch the eye?
Magpies boss Bruce has been pretty defensive against the top sides, sitting back and looking to hit on the break.
Arsenal's last three home games against Newcastle have seen under 2.5 goals and there could be a repeat here if the Gunners fail to make an early breakthrough. Under 2.5 goals pays 6/5 at Unibet and that's decent value.
Granit Xhaka was booked when these sides faced off earlier in the season and is always worth backing in the cards market. He's 11/4 with Unibet to be carded here and that's good value.
With Newcastle defending deep I'd expect a few Arsenal corners as they try to break through. William Hill offer 5/6 on the Gunners having over two corners in each half and that should come up.
This English Premier League match between Arsenal and Newcastle will be played on Feb 16, 2020 and kick off at 16:30